August 12th, 2008
06:23 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama camp says their donors portrayed as 'mindless fans'

The Obama campaign is seeking to top the two million donor mark.

The Obama campaign is seeking to top the two million donor mark.

(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign manager said Monday John McCain's now-famous Paris Hilton/Britney Spears television ad wasn't just insulting to the Illinois senator, but to his campaign's legion of supporters as well.

And in an e-mail to those supporters Monday, campaign manager David Plouffe is hoping a backlash from that television spot will push Obama over the two million individual donor mark by the party's convention at the end of August - only six months after the campaign topped one million donors.

"While supporters like you are out knocking on doors, registering new voters, and organizing in your local communities, our opponents are not even trying to match your efforts. Instead, they're spending millions to spread the smear that Barack is just a 'celebrity' and that our grassroots movement is just a bunch of mindless fans," Plouffe wrote in the e-mail in what is one of his harshest assessments to date of McCain's 'Celebrity' ad.

"Two million donors is an incredible number - a number that was previously unimaginable for presidential campaigns," he also wrote. "And it's a number this campaign never dreamed we could reach before the convention."

Obama surpassed one million donors in late February, a number the campaign said then was one "no one ever thought would be possible." As of the end of June, the most recent fundraising figures available, Obama had raised nearly $340 million for his presidential bid.

A steady fundraising clip is especially important for Obama, who earlier this summer backed off his onetime pledge to enter into public financing - and the spending caps that come with it - in the general election campaign.

Justifying his reversal on that pledge, Obama cited his vast donor list and said his campaign was fueled mainly by small contributions. Though the New York Times reported last week close to a third of the Obama campaign's fundraising receipts has come from donors who gave $1,000 or more.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Sherri

    It is insulting and at the same time energizing. Let them keep insulting us. It is a sign of deep desperation in the McCain camp. Obama supporters are intelligent, informed and mobilized. We give money, we register voters, we inform neighbors of Obama's positions and policy plans, we work together with the common hope of saving the America we love. Obama asks us to take responsibility for our future, as functioning, adult citizens, and in return our opinions are asked for and respected. It's a refreshing model for citizen government in a very jaded world.

    Thank you, Obama. Obama 08! Democrat 08!

    August 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. Jac

    I did not see the ad as insulting to anyone....I think it was a clever way to show how no matter what, fans are going to always be fans...Obama has his followers and call it what you want, some flaws and inconsistencies in his platform...that does not matter, his supporters will still follow.....just like BS and PH...for all thier questionable antics many would consider as "questionable", their fans are still looking the other way and following them. It wasn't insult-just a fact!!! Obama is not that great compared to other past candidates, he's just new and viewed as "cool" to many who does not really know his stance on issues-all they know is he "stands for change' all you Obama supporters, please defend this...Why won't he face McCain in town hall meetings? Why is he afraid to go on Fox news and face O'Reilly or Hannity? We know why!!!

    August 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. biffington, biff

    McRove lives.......

    August 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. Patriot

    If the limit on individual donation is $2300, then donations less than $2300 is SMALL!

    And small donors are the ones who have been fueling the Obama Campaign!

    Some media personnels are so much without principle and virtue that they will go to any extreme to be negative.

    From where in hell does a $1000 donation comes into play?
    Of what relevance is $1000.

    $1000 is not a benchmark of any sort. Just something that arises in the negative mindset of journalists.

    Even if 2/3 of 2 million is A LOT of small donors!
    It's better than all the campaign reform legislations had ever achieved!

    August 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. ChicagoJosh

    "Doug, New Jersey August 11th, 2008 4:42 pm ET

    Is the media going to mention the web donors and the fact that many have come from countries in the Middle East? Didn't think so"

    Well Doug, you seem to be a mindless Republican kool aid drinker. You have to be a U.S. citizen in order to donate. I bet the 75,000 fans in Oregon were all really terrorists that Barack flew over. People really really like him because they really really hate people like you and Bush and McCain.

    McCain has insulted me. Thank you Barack for standing up for me.

    August 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    With Obama we get issues.

    With McCain we get frat boy party jokes.

    Who's ready to lead?

    OBAMA 08

    August 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Frugal and Free

    I'm a graduate of a great university, and am very frugal–cheap, you might say. I've given my money to Barack Obama's campaign because the end result is worth it. If my money will help in any way to take our country back, I consider it money well spent.

    Considering the way Barack's running his campaign, I'd say I have the best of the bargain.

    Barack the Vote 08

    August 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Informed Voter

    As an Obama Supporter i Agree ... i have been called a sheep, a blind follower, a Obamabot, you name it .. just for supporting Obama

    August 11, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. Dave in New York

    right on, that is exactly what McCain's campaign is doing!

    The GOP has become so cynical, they don't even try to come out with a positive message.

    Instead they insult millions of regular Americans who are backing Obama because they believe in bringing a change to Washington.

    Rather than talking down to voters, John McCain and his campaign should focus on their own message: what are they offering the American People other than 4 more years of Bush/Cheney policies?

    August 11, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Charuhans

    This is how the tribal wars in Africa usually start. One tribal leader starts spreading venom, inticing his followers and the party begins ... Kenya, Rwanda ..... Way to go America!!

    August 11, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. Sarah

    How many of those donors who gave a $1000 or more did so IN SMALL INCREMENTS?

    Does that make them "big donors" or does that make them small donors who are really excited to give $25 a month?

    CNN, can't you do at least minimal analysis on some of these statements before repeating them like a parrot?

    August 11, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Teddy California

    McCain campain has figured out that election is about Obama. It does not matter what McCain is talking about. No one will pay attention to him, at least not the media. Now, McCain campain is trying to define Obama. Since Obama is like a blank sheet, you can write or paint anything on it. There will be fight on defining Obama. No one will know what is real Obama. Except two autobiography books, Obama has left very little for people to examine.

    Obama campain will try to paint Obama as the angele that is coming to rescue Americans from the current trouble while McCain campain will do the opposite.

    August 11, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. fred

    i think were all sick of these disgusting, hateful ads from mccain . its even worse that he is even proud of it.

    August 11, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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